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What Size Wire Will I Need?

 

Here's a chart to consider when sizing wire for a starter application:

 

Wire Gauge AWG

Maximum length in feet for maximum volt drop (12V system)

1

2

4

6

8

10

12

15

20

50

100

200

20

106

53

26

17

13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18

150

75

37

25

18

15

12

 

 

 

 

 

16

224

112

56

37

28

22

18

14

 

 

 

 

14

362

181

90

60

45

36

30

24

18

 

 

 

12

572

286

143

95

71

57

47

38

28

 

 

 

10

908

454

227

151

113

90

75

60

45

 

 

 

8

1452

726

363

241

181

145

120

96

72

29

 

 

6

2342

1171

585

390

292

234

194

155

117

46

23

 

4

3702

1851

925

616

462

370

307

246

185

76

37

 

2

6060

3030

1515

1009

757

606

503

403

303

121

60

30

1

7692

3846

1923

1280

961

769

638

511

384

153

76

38

0

9708

4854

2427

1616

1213

970

805

645

485

194

97

48

 

How to use this chart:

 

Start with the length of your total cable run.  Remember with plastic (errr...we mean, "composite") airplanes, your cable run will be TWICE the distance between the battery and starter.

Find your cable run length at the top of the chart

Follow that column downward until you reach the first yellow shaded box

Follow that box's row to the left to find the recommended wire gauge for your application

Remember: Bigger is better and only marginally heavier.  If you want a little extra peace of mind, size your gauge "up" (downward on the chart) one wire gauge size.

 

Example:

 

Les is setting up an old Champ for electric start.  He wants to locate the starter behind the back seat.  The airframe will provide a ground.  The total wire run is 10 feet.  The first yellow shaded box suggests he us 4 AWG cable.  If his Champ had a high compression Lyc. 320, he'd probably want to size that "up" to 2 AWG cable.  But he's using the original C75-12, with the Sky-Tec C12ST2/S so 6 AWG cable would suffice (draws less than 200 amps).  But for peace of mind and a little elbow room, he sticks with the recommended 4 AWG cable.  

 

Remember:

 

ALL the cables need to be the recommended gauge.  An electrical circuit, like a chain, is only as strong as its weakest link.  

And don't forget the engine ground(s)! 

 

 

Up

  We Fly Behind them AND We Stand Behind Them Too 

Sky-Tec starters have a very successful service record in the industry.  All Sky-Tec starters are engineered to exceed 2700 hours of service before requiring overhaul.

 

 

  Proof in Numbers 

Of the more than 70,000 Sky-Tec starters currently flying, fewer than 5% come in each year for maintenance.  Nearly all of these are worn-out and simply need repair/overhaul or are victims of kickbacks or overcranks.  Unit failure rates (first two years of service) run less one quarter of a percent of all starters.

 

 

 

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